When it comes to rebuilding your credit after some hard times, or some late payments, it can be difficult to get back on your feet. Sometimes, you have to resort to secured credit cards that require you to put down security deposits, and only let you have a small credit line based on what you have put down.
If your credit’s not quite bad enough to get to that point, the Capital One Platinum Credit Card is a nice middle ground for those with fair credit who still want to get it back up to snuff. It’s an unsecured credit card, meaning that you don’t have to put down a security deposit – a good option for those who feel comfortable enough holding a balance and paying it off.
On Capital One's home portal
640 - 700
Highlight: No annual fee, rewards for paying off balances
19.99% - 26.99%
The Capital One Platinum offers several resources for people trying to rebuild their credit. First and foremost, good cardholders who successfully make their payments on time for five months are allowed to access a higher credit score. Furthermore, you get unlimited access to your VantageScore credit score, meaning you can keep tabs on your improving credit.
There’s no annual fee, and the usual Platinum Mastercard benefits of extended warranties, car and travel accident insurance, roadside assistance and price protection, and more. However, you don’t get an introductory APR, and are saddled with an unchanging 24.99% variable APR for the life of the card.
Capital One Platinum Credit Card Review: Our Overall Rating
As a middle-ground option for cardholders without great credit, but who want to build it back up without resorting to the restrictiveness of a secured card, the Capital One Platinum is a pretty good option, all things considered. It functions pretty much like a regular credit card, with the potential for responsible owners to increase their credit limit (and score) through good behavior.
That being said, it still falls far short when compared to other unsecured credit cards in terms of benefits. While there’s no annual fee, which is good, there’s no introductory APR, and no chance for cardholders to get anything less than a 24.99% variable APR. That can still add up, even with cardholders who try to keep their balances low.
Another unfortunate way this card doesn’t offer much to those who don’t have to worry about bad credit: there’s no rewards program. Without any points or cash back system, the credit card is decidedly old-fashioned in that it merely holds a balance, giving you nothing in return.
However, for those who want to get their credit back to an acceptable level, so they can move back up to the cards that do have rewards programs and other perks, the this card is a good resource. This is especially true considering all the CreditWise and VantageScore amenities it provides.
Capital One Platinum Credit Card: Where it Wins
A solid way to rebuild your credit. As credit cards for people with poor credit go, this card is a beautiful middle ground between more prestigious unsecured credit cards and the stress of maintaining a secured credit card. The option to access a higher credit line upon successful payments for five months is a great incentive to teach good credit habits.
No need for a security deposit. Since you don’t have to put down a security deposit, you’re freed up to make more independent financial decisions. This is just another way the Capital One Platinum wins out over more restrictive secured credit cards.
Access to important credit information. With the CreditWise program offered by Capital One, you can keep better tabs on how your credit is doing – a perfect option for those who want to micromanage their journey back to better credit. You can access your credit score, plus see the factors you need to work on the most.
Capital One Platinum Credit Card Rewards & Benefits
CreditWise credit monitoring. When building up your credit, it’s vital to keep track of your credit score so you know how you’re progressing. With the card, you’ll get free access to CreditWise from Capital One, which gives you your VantageScore, give you email alerts when your credit score changes, and so on.
Fraud coverage. You don’t want to build your credit back up, only for identity thieves to bring your trustworthiness back down with fraudulent spending. This card, luckily, offers fraud coverage so you’re informed when potentially hinky charges get places on your card.
Access to higher credit lines for good behavior. When you first get the card, you’ll be given a lower credit limit with which to test out your newly-responsible credit behavior. After five months of on-time payments, the Platinum card increases your limit, further incentivizing those good habits. It’s a great way to encourage more careful card use, and to build your credit score.
Platinum Mastercard benefits. While the card doesn’t have much in terms of amenities, and completely lacks a rewards program, the Platinum allows you to enjoy the kind of Platinum Mastercard benefits all cards of its type enjoy – auto rental insurance, roadside assistance, price protection, extended warranties on items, and more with no extra charge.
Capital One Platinum Credit Card Costs & Fees
No annual fee. A lot of low-credit credit cards still have hefty annual fees, which can make building your credit up more than a hassle. The Platinum thankfully ignores that, so you don’t have to worry about having to pay anywhere from $100-200 every year for seemingly no reason at all.
19.99% - 26.99% variable APR. It’s a good thing that the card gives you no annual fee, though, because there’s also no introductory APR. Instead, you’re stuck with a 19.99% - 26.99% variable APR for the life of the card, which is less than ideal, since it’s higher up on the spectrum than most cards. However, this is a credit card for people with less than ideal credit, so that makes sense.
Who is the Capital One Platinum Credit Card best for?
This card is perfect for those cardholders who have run into some trouble with their credit, but are not in bad enough shape that they’re forced to use secured credit cards. As much as this is a card meant to build credit back up, it’s still an unsecured credit card, which means it functions more or less like the cards held by people with better credit.
There’s no annual fee, which is good for keeping maintenance costs low, and the incentive for good payments (i.e. an increased credit limit) is an effective way to encourage users to spend wisely. Furthermore, access to your credit score through CreditWise allows cardholders to keep their rising credit in mind while they continue to use the card responsibly.
Overall, those who have average-to-fair credit, but want to get those scores up to the level where they can graduate to better cards, the Capital One Platinum is a thoroughly decent option.
How to Apply for the Capital One Platinum Credit Card
If you’ve decided you want a Capital One Platinum card, application is easy. All you have to do is head on over to their application portal and fill out the information they request. It’s the same info asked of anyone looking to get a new credit card – enter your first and last name, your social security number, date of birth, citizenship status, and so on.
Other information they require includes your address, your financial information (employment status, bank accounts, total annual income, monthly rent or mortgage, etc.) and a acceptance of their e-disclosure statement. From there, it’s pretty straightforward, and you’ll hear back from them about your approval within minutes.
Capital One Platinum Credit Card Alternatives
Capital One QuicksilverOne Card. Here’s a similar low-credit card to the Platinum, also from Capital One; this time, you have to pay a $39 annual fee. However, you get 1.5% unlimited cash back on all purchases, and fraud protection and car/travel insurance. Still, the interest is still pretty high, starting at the same rate (24.99%) and going all the way up to 28.99%.
Credit One Bank Cash Back Rewards Card. Like the Capital One Platinum credit card, the Credit One Bank Cash Back Rewards Card also gives you access to your credit score, fraud protection, and so on. However, you also get the benefit of earning 1% cash back on all purchases you make with the card.
Surge Credit Card. If your credit is such that you need a different low credit credit card, the Surge card is one potential option. It gives you a $500 credit limit, which is nice; however, there’s a high annual fee, hefty maintenance fee and a high APR of almost 30%. It’s worth it as a last-chance effort to rebuild credit, but go for the Platinum if you can.